For this semester, I chose to create a portable MIDI controller that will allow one to dock a phone and use like a gaming controller. Often, I create music on train trips using my and hate inputting notes on the tiny keyboards presented on screen.
Having already built a MIDI controller that uses IR distance sensors and a Teensy for a algorithmic composition project last semester, I have experience working with MIDI commands over USB.
Here is a mock-up of the final design:
Bluetooth LE Connectivity
1.5 Octave Range Keyboard
Octave Selection Keys
Bluetooth pairing button
RGB status light
Magenta / Red / Orange / Yellow / White = Octave Selection Status & Power
Blue = Bluetooth Pairing Mode
500 mAh battery and USB Micro Charging Port
Chosen Platform for Testing:
Initially, I was going to use Android for my testing device. However, I discovered that the two major Android apps used for music creation, FL Studio and Caustic, did not have support for MIDI over Bluetooth LE. Conversely, every iOS synthesizer app that I tested was fully supported. Therefore, iOS will be the target platform until a solution can be created or found.
The two biggest challenges that I will have to overcome are latency from the Bluetooth connection and designing a case that will latch onto different phone sizes.